Classic Italian Movies – Fellini's 8 1/2 (Eight and a Half)

Best Films of All Time

Classic Italian movies are defined by one of the top Italian movie directors - maestro Federico Fellini. It is safe to say that without him Italian and world cinema wouldn’t be the same.

One of the most famous movie directors in the world, he received 4 best movie Oscar awards, the highest number of Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, including one for his autobiographical masterpiece Eight and a Half (8 1/2), one of the best films of all time.

This film is considered definitive and is placed among the best classic movies of all time by the world’s most famous movie directors including Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Ingmar Bergman, David Lynch, David Cronenberg and many-many others.

Classic Italian Movies - Fellini's 8 1/2 (Eight and a Half)

Classic Italian Movies – Film Details

8 1/2 (Eight and a Half)
Original title - Otto e mezzo



Story and Direction by:



Federico Fellini

Classic Italian Movies – Movie Ratings


Rotten Tomatoes:


Like it

98% critics reviews

93% viewers reviews

8.1/10 critics and viewers movie reviews

Classic Italian Movies – Plot Teaser

One of the famous Italian movie directors has a creative block and a life crisis. He uses his dreams and memories to escape from men and women in his life.

Classic Italian Movies – Movie Review

Roger Ebert in his review of this gem of classic Italian movies says, “8 1/2 is the best film ever made about filmmaking.”

One of the best classic movies was filmed based on director’s autobiographical material and his actual dreams. Marcello Mastroianni, the lead actor and one of the Italian movie stars, tried to imitate maestro in everything - gestures, mannerisms, clothes, his walk, his trademark hat and glasses.

According to actors who worked with one of the most famous movie directors, especially on his later films, there was never a script. Anita Eckberg, one of the European classic movie actresses, recalls that he “never wrote anything down. It was all in his head, maybe a few pages of notes and that’s it.”

Marcello Mastroianni, one of the beloved European classic movie actors, said in an interview that he once asked Federico Fellini to give him the script for La Dolce Vita, an iconic movie they were about to make. Mastroianni was handed a folder. Inside the folder, there were blank sheets of paper and one drawing by maestro, who was an excellent cartoonist. It was a drawing of “a man with a huge penis swimming in the water” and “all around him were mermaids dancing”. After studying the drawing, Marcelo Mastroianni said to one of the best Italian movie directors, “Yes, it does seem like an interesting subject...”

As there was no script, actors often didn’t have their dialogue. One of the best classic Italian movies was re-dubbed in its entirety during post production: actors often exchanged meaningless phrases during actual filming to imitate conversation. Sometimes Federico Fellini would ask actors to recite the Our Father prayer, count or say random numbers. He would write the dialogue after the filming is finished.

Actors often recall that there was a happy and joyous atmosphere on the set, similar to that of a circus. It is well-known that Italian maestro loved the circus and included its elements in 8 1/2 film and other movies. One of the best Italian movie directors of all time was often described as a “magician” - those who were present during filming noted that he managed to get the best performances out of actors without clear structure or instructions.

That magic is ever-present on the screen.

When 8 1/2 film was released it was an instant success in Europe. American audiences didn’t know what to make of it in the beginning. To many it was just another of those surrealist films and strange movies from Europe that made no sense. However, critics and audiences never stopped talking about it turning it slowly into one of the most iconic classic Italian movies ever made.

Eight and a Half movie is number 10 of the top 50 best films of all time list released by the British Film Institute in 2012. It was number 2 on the same list 10 and 20 years ago, second only to Citizen Kane.

Vatican also included one of the best classic movies on its best films of all time list; however, many of Federico Fellini’s films were condemned by the Catholic Church.

Classic Italian Movies - Fun Facts

At one point it was suggested that the film’s title represents the number of women in the movie. In actuality, Eight and a Half stands for the total number of films made by one of the best Italian movie directors prior to this production: seven plus three collaborations.

The unforgettable music score was composed by Federico Fellini’s frequent collaborator Nino Rota, who also composed music for the first two Godfather movies of Francis Ford Coppola, receiving an Oscar for his work.

Best Classic Movies - Movie Recommendation

A director once said: “8 1/2 is the kind of movie that I don’t like watching numerous times, but that gives me an immense desire to direct.”

This is a movie for open-minded. Laugh when the director invites you to laugh, as it was originally intended as a comedy. Reflect when he gives you space to think. Avoid comparing it to anything else you’ve seen. A Federico Fellini movie can only be compared to a Fellini movie. That’s what makes him the maetsro among Italian movie directors.

Eight and a Half is one of the most inspirational, iconic and best films of all time.

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